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CATHERINE J. MILLER v. DAVID A. JOLLY (06/18/85)

submitted: June 18, 1985.

CATHERINE J. MILLER, APPELLANT,
v.
DAVID A. JOLLY



Appeal from the Order dated 8-29-84 in the Court of Common Pleas, Erie County, Family, No. 199 of 1984 DRD.

COUNSEL

Thomas S. Kubinski, Erie, for appellant.

Suzanne L. Brunsting, Bedford, for appellee.

Rowley, Olszewski and Del Sole, JJ.

Author: Del Sole

[ 347 Pa. Super. Page 219]

The sole issue in this appeal is whether the trial court erred in dismissing Appellant's complaint for support, and withdrawing certification of the complaint to the state of Arizona by applying the statute of limitations contained in 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6704(b).

The facts of this case are as follows: On March 29, 1984, Appellant filed a Complaint in the Court of Common Pleas, Erie County, for support of her minor child. The Complaint alleged that Appellee was the father of Appellant's child who was born on May 9, 1974. The Complaint also asserted that Appellee resided in Tucson, Arizona. In accordance with the rules outlined in the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. 6741 et seq. (RURESA), the Complaint was certified by the Erie County court and three copies of it were sent to the Court of Prima County, Tucson County Seat, Arizona. Thereafter, the Complaint was served on Appellee. Appellee filed an Answer and New Matter in the Erie County Court admitting that he resided in Tucson Arizona, and claiming that the Complaint should be dismissed based on the six year statute of limitations found in 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6704(b). After a hearing, the court dismissed the Complaint and withdrew its certification of the Complaint to the state of Arizona. Appellant has appealed from this order claiming that the court erred in applying the Pennsylvania statute of limitations regarding the commencement of support actions to this

[ 347 Pa. Super. Page 220]

    case. We agree, and accordingly reverse the order of the trial court.

Both Pennsylvania and Arizona have adopted the 1968 version of the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act. This legislation was designed to improve and extend the enforcement of duties of support. Oman v. Oman, 333 Pa. Super. 356, 482 A.2d 606 (1984). The question of which body of law to apply in a given factual situation is answered in Section 6747 of the Act which provides:

Choice of Law

Duties of support applicable under this subchapter are those imposed under the laws of any state where the obligor was present for the period during which support is sought. The obligor is presumed to have been present in the responding state during the period for which support is sought until otherwise shown.

The term "obligor" is defined as "any person owing a duty of support or against whom a proceedings for the enforcement of a duty of support or registration of support order is commenced." 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6742. Herein, Appellee fits the definition of an "obligor" since a proceeding for the enforcement of support had been commenced against him. The state in which Appellee, "obligor", was present was Arizona. In view of the above, any duties of support applicable in this case are those imposed under the laws of the state of Arizona. For this reason it was error to apply the Pennsylvania statute of limitations as ...


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